CHENNAI: With an aim to prevent human rights violations and cases of custodial torture, the Madras High Court on Friday directed the state to file a detailed report for framing a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to maintain footage of CCTVs installed inside police stations in Tamil Nadu.
The two-member bench of justices M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha issued the direction on the plea filed by K Nizamuddin, a Chennai-based advocate who raised the recent custodial deaths of father-son duo in Sathankulam police station.
According to the petitioner, there is no statutory framework or standard operating procedure prescribed to protect and maintain the CCTV footage inside the police stations.
He further added that the installation of CCTV cameras within the premises of the police station is for security and also to prevent any custodial torture or police excess.
Despite installation in some of the police stations, preserving them for a while requires to be addressed. "The CCTV footage plays a very prominent role, but without preserving the footage with foolproof technology, the same would undo the very objective of installation of CCTV cameras," said the petitioner.
Referring to the recent custodial torture in Sathankulam police station, the petitioner said, "With a solemn objective to prevent police excess and the same got defeated due to lack of a statutory framework to protect and preserve the footage against manipulation and its future usage for forensic investigation."
The bench recording the submissions issued notices to the state government and also to the Director-General of Police to file a detailed report within November 6.